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Do you remember the time “faux” plants looked…fake?

Nowadays, with advancements in manufacturing techniques and new materials, it’s often easy to mistake artificial plants for the real thing!

But when did the use of faux plants actually become part of home and commercial life? And what exactly are their origins?

Back in Time

No one can quite pin down the exact timeframe of artificial/faux plants inception. However, they can be traced as far back as the Egyptian and Roman era. The materials used back then would have been radically different, but the art and ingenuity of production were just as intricate as the designs that you see today. Floral wreaths were made using thin stained plates of animal horn. Materials such as copper, silver and gilt were also utilised to represent flora and fauna when deemed symbolic or appropriate. 

It is fitting that China is a major producer of faux plants. According to historians, this was where they originated from. Although early artificial designs were somewhat crude —  using twisted ribbon and wire — the Chinese then went on to harness the use of silk in their productions to add an unrivalled flourish at the time. The mini-masterpieces were only enjoyed by the privileged few who could afford such artisan wares.

Often, the ladies of the Imperial Family ordered them to be worn in their hair. The trend spread beyond the confines of the palace walls, influencing the masses who were desperate to emulate their social superiors.

Origins of the Artificial Plant

Moving Ahead

With each century came more developments and from many of them in Europe. Over in 12th Century Italy, various groups of Artisans begin crafting unique and eye-catching faux flowers using silkworm cocoons. 

Then — in the 15th Century — the French began crafting their own faux-fauna and surpassed the workmanship of their other European rivals. After the French Revolution, some of these Artisans fled to Britain and found a gaggle of wealthy patrons eager to purchase their wares.

The Victorian era was another benchmark for faux-fauna. Dazzling and opulent arrangements were made using a combination of both fresh and faux flowers. Whilst still utilising silk, other materials (crepe, velvet and muslin etc) were also brought in to embellish the ever-expanding range of designs.

Florists in the 1920’s used faux-fauna to supplement fresh arrangements. When certain flowers were out of season,  this was a great way to meet demand.

Silk - Origins of the Artificial Plant

Present Day Faux

With modern-day production techniques, we’re now in the enviable position of being able to create a sophisticated product that offers durability and long life whilst emulating live fauna.

The future journey of artificial plant and flower production is likely to mirror its illustrious past. Especially as it allows people to be enveloped by a beautiful representation from nature — without the hassle of constant upkeep.

What’s not to like?

Could you or any of your employees benefit from great outdoor space at work?

In today’s working environment, the economic pressures are high and the demands to succeed are intense. It’s no wonder lunch breaks are slowly becoming a thing of the past for many and adding to stress levels.

Space for employees to remove themselves from staring at their screens and recharge for a moment equals smart business thinking. A breath of fresh air feels like the best thing in the world if you’re bogged down by work. It delivers that much-needed energy boost and clarity of mind – which in turn leads to a more productive workplace.

According to a poll undertaken by hospitality specialist Sodexo and the nonprofit health body Ukactive, 800 British workers they surveyed only took an average of 22 minutes for their lunch breaks.

How employees can benefit 

Taking a short break every couple of hours from a tough work schedule helps employees keep in good shape physically, mentally and emotionally, considerably improving productivity.

Spending as little as 20 minutes a day outside can:

  • reduce stress
  • improve memory and concentration
  • restore mental energy 
  • encourage team building
  • improve social interaction

How to Create an Outdoor Office Space

  1. Plants, plants and more plants

    Fill the space with (you guessed it) … plants. As a business, things can get busy and stressful at times, so the last thing you may be thinking about is tending to green spaces and making sure it looks luscious all year round. Try a low maintenance version of a botanical garden by opting for artificial plants. You can still mix in live plants for the extra wow factor. Grow herbs or vegetables. Or, plant flowers and grasses and create a space that attracts butterflies and pollinators.
  2. Seating

    If you really want to entice employees into using the outdoor space, provide comfortable seating where they can enjoy lunch, take a moment to themselves or even have a catch up with colleagues. 
  3. Walking Trails

    For larger spaces with land. A walking trail would be a great way to get out, take in some fresh air and get some vitamin D. For an extra endorphin boost,  this could be a great time of the day for a run or team walk.
  4. Outdoor Grilling Station

    If you really want to splash out, how about a grilling station? This would make a fabulous way for the team to get together on a Friday afternoon.

With the pressures placed on today’s workforce, it is important to remember that employees need to detach from their screens and take those all-important regular breaks.   

Giving employees an opportunity to untether themselves from technology is one more step on the ladder to staff retainment and loyalty.